Brighton and Hove are facing a ticking diabetes time bomb with cases soaring by more than 70% in the next 16 years.

The number of people diagnosed with the condition in the city is on the rise and experts say numbers could reach 17,842 by 2030.

Latest figures from Diabetes UK reveal there are currently 10,309 diabetics in the city, although the actual number is higher as more than 5,000 are believed to be undiagnosed.

Obesity is the biggest risk for developing Type 2 diabetes and health bosses are warning people to making changes now to avoid health problems in the future.

Research shows a higher number of diabetes and overweight people live in more deprived areas and work is being done to target these areas.

This includes focusing on children to help them keep active and eat well and cut their risk of developing health problems as adults.

Obesity and its health related problems, including diabetes, is estimated to cost the NHS in Sussex more than £460m a year.

Nationally it is believed to be one of the biggest potential crises facing the NHS.

The Argus revealed earlier this month that a “worryingly-high” number of adults across Sussex are overweight or obese.

Just under half of adults in Brighton and Hove are above a healthy weight, with the figure rising to around 65% in East and West Sussex.

Brighton and Hove has the fifth lowest percentages of overweight people in the country at 49.2 % but it is still high enough to be of concern.

Brighton and Hove Clinical Commissioning Group chairman Xavier Nalletamby, said: “We continue to work very hard to raise awareness of diabetes among both the public and healthcare professionals so that we can diagnose the condition as early as possible and manage it effectively.

“Early management helps reduce the risk of complications, like foot ulcers, stroke, kidney failure and blindness.”

Brighton and Hove City Council's director of public health, Tom Scanlon, said: “Maintaining a healthy weight with exercise and good nutrition is important in preventing and controlling the disease.

“People who are overweight are also prone to poorer mental health and lower self esteem.